Hedgies go to war with EU’s Michel Barnier

Tim Wallace
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HEDGE funds have called on Europe to clear up how controversial new rules governing the sector will be enforced, but their comments have been dismissed by EU officials as special pleading.

The Alternative Investment Mangement Association said that a new directive drafted by the European Commission appears to “significantly and substantially diverge” from the advice of regulator European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

EU commissioner Michel Barnier hit back, calling the complaints “rearguard lobbying” over the directive, which also covers private equity firms.

Despite the bellicose rhetoric, Barnier hinted at concessions when he said the draft of the directive is a “work in progress”.

Last night AIMA chief executive Andrew Baker said: “If the Commission is confirming that it is going to follow ESMA’s advice then we would fully support that.”

Baker’s comments follow the news reported by City A.M. last week that hedgies are furious with the EU over the details of its new regulations and were gearing up for a lobbying initiative that AIMA made public yesterday.